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I have walked through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, past the twin pillars of fire at the Gates of Hell, and descended into the depths of that Abyss. There we have done battle with the Furies, some have fallen. Words cannot express what it is like to hold a fallen comrade in your arms, hear him call for his Mother, pray with him that God will take away the pain, and listen as he begs you to take him home because he is cold. Nor can mere words convey the emotions you experience as you watch the last breath of life leave the body, see the eyes go cold and gray, then feel the gentle whisper of the wind as the spirit departs the body. I have avenged my fallen comrades. The enemy has known true fear, and experienced the vicious taste of my wrath. They have learned I will show no mercy. But it did not bring them back. My experience has taught me two lessons; the first is that life is short and should be enjoyed; the second is that Freedom is not free. It is paid for with blood and the sacrifice of those who stand on the line and say nothing crosses me on my watch. If you want past me you must go through me and I will not go quietly into the night. Today I enjoy the beauty of a soft rain on a lazy afternoon. I am grateful that God has allowed me to come home to be one of the “Returned”. As you go your ways thank those who have served and if you have a moment take time to “Remember the Fallen”.
Memorial Day, a day of remembrance and honoring those who have put it all on the line and who paid the ultimate price while serving under the flag of The United States of America. I have mixed emotions about this day. As we roll through the daily grind of holding down a day job, we all love to have that "Monday" off and spend it with our families, and with hobbies such as woodworking, boating and camping and many other activities we Americans enjoy during this extended weekend. It's the official kick off to summer as well. But as I walked through the front doors of a major home center this morning looking for some supplies to complete some long standing "Honey-Do" list that I have been trying to knock down for years but just never seems to end, I spot a big colorful sign at the entrance of our local home center and the sign states in big bold happy letters, "HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY!". Happy? There is nothing "Happy" about this most solemn of days contained in our annual calender of holidays. What is "Happy" about this day? This one day we are supposed to take time and reflect upon those who gave their life defending our country, and protecting us from the very bad people of this world, happy? What is "Happy" about men and women losing their life before their life even began, many in their teens, and some cases even under aged, yet they wanted to serve our country so bad, they lied about their age to get into the service. What is happy about a day that we are supposed to memorialize dead Americans, most who died for a righteous cause, and many who may not have. There is nothing happy about this day my friends. Sure, my family and I will enjoy our "Monday Off" because we will be with each other, but we will also be attending a function in honor of our dead Americans where the event is sure to be solemn. For my wife and I, we will carry a heavy heart throughout the day, and our children will be encouraged to keep those same sentiments in their hearts as well. Do not think that for one instance if our military was not standing post with rifle in hand, that our enemies would just sit by and do nothing. The only reason we are able to live our lives day in and day out, without worries, able to go about our day to day tasks of visiting a Starbucks before work, seeing a movie with our family, or the simple task of having a restful sleep during the night, all of those simple things we take for granted, are completely owed to those who protect us every day. Lets enjoy the day off, lets enjoy being in company of the ones we love, but the whole while, lets not let the feeling of solemness, and remembrance leave our hearts. We owe those who are no longer with us, that. Just one day is all they are asking. Memorial Day, May 25th 2015. May God always bless the men and women who serve our country, and may He keep in a very special place those who died in service and long after, for they are the ones who gave of themselves selflessly, and they will be "Forever Young". And we'd like to ask each and every one to pray at your barbecue for our troops both past and present, and set out an empty setting over an empty chair at your dinner table, in memory, and in hope that our men and women serving today will all come home very soon.